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Old August 13, 2011, 18:21   #1
Donald Jonker
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An idea for timed monster spawning

Greetings gents & ladies. Been awhile since I've fired up ole angband, but I recently had an idea which could improve gameplay balance.

A common reason cited for diving is that the longer you stay on a given level, more new monsters will be spawned, with the default status of awake. New monsters simply appearing in the dungeon at random places always served to break the suspension of disbelief for me, and it further propagates a reliance on inelegant measures such as spamming detection and gives way to overreliance on esp and the like.

What if new monsters always spawned around staircases? They have to get in somehow. Further, what if the player was given some kind of message warning the player of their arrival: "You hear the patter of footsteps arriving from set of a stairs..."

The generation timing could remain as it is now, or become more strict xdy+z, where x and y are small. You would still have incentive to go through levels more quickly, since you now have to cut your way through a set of enemies to reach the stairs, but it won't be so much of a crapshoot. A little less randomness, and a little more strategy. Players can better gauge how long they want to spend on a given level, as the risk/reward becomes more clear.

Anyway, there's the idea. Congrats on all the new releases, and happy banding!
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Old August 13, 2011, 19:26   #2
Estie
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This sounds interesting, though I would probably make it like this:

*its time to respawn* (pick some monsters) go through the list: does it have passwall or digging flag ? yes -> spawn in random location as before, no -> place as close as possible to a stair that isnt too close to the @.
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Old August 13, 2011, 19:28   #3
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I'd have to see this in action to judge it. I'm worried that having a cluster of random enemies around the stairs when the rest of the dungeon is totally empty would look weird. But it might work.
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Old August 13, 2011, 19:52   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I'd have to see this in action to judge it. I'm worried that having a cluster of random enemies around the stairs when the rest of the dungeon is totally empty would look weird. But it might work.
I think if we got better AI with some kind of patrolling behavior it would work well--monsters would spawn near stairs but then naturally move around a bit.
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Old August 13, 2011, 20:34   #5
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Cool, no more resting on the staircase (No, that would be far too evil for V).
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Old August 13, 2011, 21:00   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_m View Post
I think if we got better AI with some kind of patrolling behavior it would work well--monsters would spawn near stairs but then naturally move around a bit.
We could emulate it by spawning the next monster some place away, if there is already one near the stair.
It will look like if the second monster arrived first and wandered away from the stair when the player meets it.

I think they would only spawn near stairs outside of the players detection, so it couldn't spawn arround a stair the player is camping.
I don't even know if monsters can spawn inside the players TP radius, I think they can't.
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Old August 13, 2011, 21:01   #7
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I'm all for less random monster placement, so many times I have gone along a corridor, looked at the empty room turned around to go back and the is a groups of monsters (plus optional unique) sitting behind me...
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Old August 13, 2011, 21:37   #8
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Note that this won't work well on labyrinth levels, where the player's detection range basically is the entire level. In variants that support small levels I occasionally have monsters pop up when inside my detection radius just because the game can't find any other place to put 'em -- including one rather worrying time when a pack of cave orcs showed up literally right around the corner from me.
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Old August 14, 2011, 07:26   #9
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lets not care 2 much about labyrinth ok
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Old August 14, 2011, 11:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_m View Post
I think if we got better AI with some kind of patrolling behavior it would work well--monsters would spawn near stairs but then naturally move around a bit.
This does indeed work well with the patrolling behaviour, I use it in Sil. I even have the monsters coming up stairs be generated as if they were from that level and vice versa. Random monsters appearing on the stairs and walking around really is a nice simulationist touch.

I even allow for monsters to come through the stairs when the player can see the stairs and even if the player is standing on them, dislodging the player. If you do the former but not the latter, then it rewards resting right on top of the stairs in a strange manner. If V generated monsters on the stairs it would probably only be sufficiently V-ish if it had to also be out of sight (which is a little sad as the feeling of immersion and fear when you first see a monster coming from off level is pretty cool).
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